Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Political Cracker Explodes At Westminster

It's a case of here today, gong gone tomorrow for Labour MP, Keith Vaz. Minutes before PMQs, the Telegraph dropped a bombshell on its front page news website, which discloses a private letter from Labour chief whip Geoff Hoon to Vaz who he hopes will be “appropriately rewarded” for supporting the 42 days detention bill.

The contents of the letter were clearly held back from the morning newspaper to deliberately wrong foot Brown and give Cameron a chance to put him on the spot in the commons.

Once again the Speaker saved Brown's skin when he cut Cameron off and called on one of the New Labour plants to speak from the back-benches.

In the handwritten letter sent on June 12, 2008 – the day after the knife-edge vote on 42 day detention, the Telegraph reports at 11.51am that Hoon writes:

“Dear Keith…Just a quick note to thank you for all your help during the period leading up to last Wednesday’s vote. I wanted you to know how much I appreciated all your help.
“I trust that it will be appropriately rewarded!...With thanks and best wishes, Geoff.”

Vaz, the Labour chairman of the home affairs select committee, was previously opposed to the plans, but later offered his full backing which was only won when Northern Ireland's DUP voted with the government.

With rumours circulating in Westminster of a peerage or knighthood, Vaz was asked in Parliament, during the debate the day before the vote, whether he had been offered an honour for his support. He said: “No, it was certainly not offered- but I do not know; there is still time.” Not now there's isn't.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It really was a cracker; the look on Hoons face was brilliant.
The official line from Labour (according to Guido) is that he did it for a bigger office, which is probably more farcical than doing it for a peerage. Who knew our civil liberties could be traded so cheaply?